Up Front by Emma Hart

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Up Front: You People and Your Quaint Little Categories

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  • Euan Mason,

    Well said, Craig. For most of us words can only go so far.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    But you think I'm going to hire a lawyer:)

    Not when you can draw a perfectly good one.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Craig Ranapia
    "doesnt that say a lot about the paucity of our language?"

    Yes, and no: there are a heap of words in English, and many in Maori*, for 'love and affection and friendship and loyalty and intimacy" et al - but so *few* of them get used. (i've been asked, in all seriousness, by 4 people at vastly different times & places, "How can you feel love if you dont have sex?" Each time I've answered, "Let me start with family-")
    Somehow, for many shallower-thinking people, 'love' in all its guises has become equated with, and limited to, certain categories - sex/patriotism/worship & obedience to deity/ies/"Mom & Applepie"-

    which is why this thread is really interesting to me - it's quietly teasing out definitions and pushing boundaries-

    *the only languages I have acquaintance with - I am very sure all lnguages will have a wide range of words for the deep drivers.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    Stirling might be down with the gays, but someone really need to take a good hard look at casual racism as a fantasy trope.

    Yeah, definite issues there. The Hot Ninja Lesbians vs. gay men balance also suffers from severe skew, despite background male gay characters.

    OTOH, he usually has a good spectrum of main characters, race-wise, so he's not *unaware* of the issues, and I vastly prefer my fiction with black and Jewish and Middle Eastern main characters to the many all-white worlds out there.

    And just for a bit of light relief, who would have guessed that among its many other sins the Twilight franchise will turn your daughters into fag hags! You have been warmed...

    Trek is waaaay ahead here. (Although knowing that Meyer is a Mormon makes this whole article even funnier.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    OTOH, he usually has a good spectrum of main characters, race-wise, so he's not *unaware* of the issues, and I vastly prefer my fiction with black and Jewish and Middle Eastern main characters to the many all-white worlds out there.

    Um, how to put this? Let's say that it seems Stirling is well aware of the issues, but purposefully and offensively wrongheaded about them to an astonishing degree. This is just going on his non-paper-published remarks, so I have no particular opinion on his published novels, but.

    (Another edition of `why the internet rather spoils sf authors, reading Stross' and James Nicolls' blogs variety.')

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Neat- I only knew Havelock Ellis as a promulgator of masturbation (!)
    and goodness knows how I got that idea in my head- he seems to have been a very interestingly learned & variegated person-

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Lucy Stewart,

    This is just going on his non-paper-published remarks, so I have no particular opinion on his published novels, but.

    Really? Interesting. I read the mailing list that he participates on, and I haven't seen a great deal of this. I mean, there's stuff I disagree with him violently about - he has a firm belief in the specialness of the West and a evident dislike of Islam which I find odd from someone who is otherwise well-informed about history - but I've yet to see anything which would lead me to classify him as that wrong-headed.

    Mind you, I suspect the fact that he's the *only* mainstream fantasy author I've found who has truly varied main casts means that I'm inclined to cut him more slack than I otherwise would.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2105 posts Report Reply

  • Keir Leslie,

    Nah, it was just the kind of bog standard `you are an ignorant Texan fool' stuff, with added playing at being a hard man on the internet bits, which were what really fucked me off. Sub-Card basically.

    Since Jul 2008 • 1452 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    Yes, and no: there are a heap of words in English, and many in Maori*, for 'love and affection and friendship and loyalty and intimacy" et al - but so *few* of them get used.

    Yes! Lots of times over. The word 'love' is asked to work awfully hard these days, to be the feeling I have for my partner, for my daughter, for my cat, for Fry's Turkish Delight bars. Yes, you can distinguish by adding adjectives - maternal, romantic, sexual, cupboard - but it does get awfully clumsy.

    When I made my first constructed culture, one of the first things I did was give them about twenty words, all of which could be translated into English as kinds of love. And another whole bunch for 'lover'. (Because, y'know, how great would it be to have entirely separate words for somebody you're going to bed with tonight for kicks, and someone you have an intense physical connection with?)

    "How can you feel love if you dont have sex?" Each time I've answered, "Let me start with family-"

    I've used this very comparison when talking to people who can't grok polyamory. If I have two children, nobody expects me to not be able to love both of them. But people seem to have an awful lot of trouble accepting that somebody can 'properly' love two lovers.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    That's just being greedy. :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    If I have two children, nobody expects me to not be able to love both of them. But people seem to have an awful lot of trouble accepting that somebody can 'properly' love two lovers.

    Different thresholds. Why anybody would want to judge, seems way beyond me unless of course, that anybody happens to be in the relationship and was unaware of their situ. Keeping it honest would sort that though.

    As you were.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Lack of quaint categories. The Press reports on increased suicide risk for gay and bisexual youth without making any distinction. I guess at least they're tallking about it.

    One-fifth of gay and bisexual youths have attempted suicide and about half have harmed themselves, a new report shows.

    The Youth '07 report has revealed that more than a third of gay or bisexual secondary school pupils had seriously considered suicide in the past year.

    The report, led by Dr Simon Denny, of Auckland University's adolescent health research group, also showed higher rates of alcohol and drug use, sexually transmitted infections, and mental-health problems among gay and bisexual pupils in comparison with their heterosexual peers.

    Of the 8000 secondary pupils who responded to the university survey of their health and wellbeing, 92 per cent said they were heterosexual.

    About 1 per cent said they were attracted to the same sex, 3.3 per cent to both sexes and 3.6 per cent were unsure or not attracted to either. Pacific and Asian youths were the most likely to say they were unsure about their sexual orientation.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19743 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    That article can be taken two ways.
    I'd like to take it as "This is what "Other" people do
    and that is what happens when you "Other" people".
    Rather than the way I suspect it was intended.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    for Fry's Turkish Delight bars

    Oh Emma, I too am a Fry's lover. A... Fry's-sexual?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    I hope the generated warmth doesn't make them too flaccid.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    I hope the generated warmth doesn't make them too flaccid.

    Flaccid is not a problem. Sticky, on the other hand...

    that is what happens when you "Other" people"

    Scary stats from the States* show that every time a state passed a DOMA at an election, the LGBT suicide rate went up in that state. That's a pretty clear demonstration of cause and effect.



    *That should SO be a website

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Stewart,

    Sticky leading to licky - only becoming a problem if the idea was to exclude others or just be alone with your Frys TD.

    Te Ika A Maui - Whakatane… • Since Oct 2008 • 577 posts Report Reply

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